The Wall Street Journal published Borders Group Inc. has scrapped the bankruptcy-court auction scheduled for tomorrow. Liquidation of operating stores will begin as early as Friday; the company is expected to go out of business by the end of September.
Longtime readers know I'm a loyal Borders customer. It is one of my favorite retail chains; I spend as many as six days a week writing at my local store. It is where I purchase books. Thanks to the Rewards Plus program, I have been able to host many giveaways on this site. And, Borders is where I've had the pleasure of meeting a number of people - managers, employees, and fellow customers, who in some way, shape, or form, became part of my writing journey.
I can't say the news is surprising. The company has struggled for months; customers, who were already dwindling in volume, became apprehensive once the Chapter 11 news went public. A number of popular new releases are not carried in stores. Coupons were sent less frequently. And the Borders/Seattle's Best partnership was terminated earlier this summer.
Having written over 100,000 words in a Borders location, it's obvious I dreamed my launch party/first signing would be held there. I imagined the staff that rooted me on for years would be part of that experience - that I could give back to a store that gave me so much. Borders became my haven when I lost my job. It provided a friendly atmosphere where I could work. It also provided a much needed escape from what I like to call unemployment-induced cabin fever; it gave me a place to go. The Baristas and regulars became my newest social network. They offered support and accountability.
As saddened as I was to learn this news (less than an hour ago), I was more saddened to read this statement towards the end of the WSJ article:
The loss of Borders may also make it more difficult for new writers to be discovered. "The liquidation of Borders is an irreplaceable loss of a big part of the book-discovery ecosystem," said Michael Norris, a senior analyst at Simba Information, a unit of MarketResearch.com "Thousands of people whose job consisted of talking up and selling books will eventually being doing something else, and that's bad for authors, agents, and everyone associated with the value chain in books."
Since I jumped on board, the writing community has discussed the future of bookstores and publishing industry in our advancing world. Although the above statement is not fact, it is a perspective I find worth discussing.
So, fellow readers, what are your thoughts on the demise of Borders? Will it have an impact on the future of publication? Will it hinder the discovery of new authors?